Az You Like It

Blue Frog's new sibling Az Bar seamlessly combines elements of a fine-dining restaurant and a bar to make for a great night out.

As one bypasses the black-suited and booted bouncers that line the entry of Blue Frog, one can hear the mellifluous strains of jazz and classic rock wafting through the air, along with clouds of second-hand smoke . Upon entering the courtyard (and after passing a second barrier sans bouncers), visitors find themselves surrounded by gas braziers and table-chair arrangements that anyone would just want to sink into. There are also a few plants to combat all carcinogens. Through a glass door, is another set-up — with more plush seating and walls devoted to music from around the world.

The servers smilingly offer a bar menu so gargantuan that if we were dispomaniac wolves, we might well have said, "all the better to see you with". Size apart, the cocktail menu is a diverse list of different potions divided according to high-end brands.

So you have cocktails based on Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and Ketel One. For those who prefer their drinks simpler, there's a litany of beers, whiskeys, vodkas, rums (yes, they have Old Monk. And Ron Zacapa) and other spirits including the more exotic ones such as Absinthe and the South American Cachaça. The portioning of alcohol in the cocktails is generous, and the largesse with which the bartenders perform their wrist-work makes for some boozy drinking.

For those looking to coat their stomach-lining beforehand, the outfit serves up an interesting medley of bar snacks from around the globe — grills, farinaceous foods, desserts and a section called Constructs, a legacy of the previously existing Azimuth, which comprises dishes created by visiting foreign chefs. The quality of ingredients is top-notch, whether one sticks to light items such as a pickled octopus salad or makes pigs of oneself with roasted pork chops and a tamarind potato mash. The execution of the ingredients into dishes is as immaculate. Given the cornucopia and quality of the food and alcohol, you can be easily forgiven for acting like a Roman emperor at one of the more decadent banquets.

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